Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Penalties and other debris

The topic of ongoing penalties by the Packers under head coach Mike McCarthy's tenure is a topic of much discussion among Packer fans and sports pundits. Some of those thoughts were related in yesterday's post, including links to yet other articles about the topic.

Today, the online edition of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a poll about the subject. At the time of this posting, here are the results:

Does Mike McCarthy show enough concern over the number of Packers penalties?
  • Yes (8%)
  • No (92%)
Total Responses: 1,788

Guess, coach, fans aren't buying the old song and dance that "we'll get it cleaned up." We've heard that for the last few years and the Packers are still among the most penalized teams in the league. And then, refs begin looking for chances to throw the flags. You think they aren't eyeballing Chad Clifton every time he goes to the line of scrimmage to see if he is actually on the line of scrimmage?

Coach McCarthy also got a bit testy during his news conference yesterday when he was pressed on the subject of penalties. It doesn't really get conveyed in the transcript, but if you listen to the audio you should be able to sense his growing unease talking about the subject. Just go here and then click on coach McCarthy's press conference from Oct. 19.

Flashback or flash forward?
Reports out of Green Bay yesterday are that the Packers had RB Ahman Green in for a tryout yesterday. Whaaaaaaa...??? Yep. Ahman Green. Great. About 10 years ago, that is. Was cut by Houston in February after two seasons of ongoing injuries. At age 32, should he even be considered as a backup? And that's what we're talking here. But isn't it a reflection on personnel and/or coaching decisions when this is where things are at in regards to that position after just five games?

Let's review, shall we?

The decision was to keep Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn as the backups to Ryan Grant. Jackson is serviceable when healthy, which he hasn't been yet this season, being active for the first time against the Lions. Wynn has shown flashes on rare occasions when he's been healthy; his problem, however, is that he has never been healthy -- or willing play through minor injuries -- since he's been in the NFL.

As for the starter, Grant has been a non-factor in any form this season. He finally got off his longest run of the season -- 22 yards -- late in the game Sunday when the Lions had already been beaten. Not entirely his fault. The problems with the offensive line extend beyond giving up a league-leading sack count; there also just haven't been many holes to run through. (One wonders if even a back like Adrian Peterson could do anything given this current line. )

But back to personnel decisions. The Packers kept three fullbacks, which raised eyebrows at the time and perhaps is now coming back to haunt the team. Although this past Sunday, the team was down to only John Kuhn as both Korey Hall and rookie Quinn Johnson were out. But if the Pack had kept their leading rusher of the preseason, undrafted free agent Tyrell Sutton, the team might not now have to be looking at such alternatives as bringing in Ahman Green and Dominic Rhodes, another old-timer (age 30), as help in the running back department. Granted, Sutton might not have been the answer either. But at least he was fast and had fresh legs.

You can read more about this development here. Be sure to especially check out the reader comments afterward. Some priceless feedback.

Game Day Weather Link
In a continuing effort to provide at least some useful tools to Packer fans, I've recently added a "Packers 2009 Home & Away Weather Forecast" link in, appropriately enough, the "Links" section in the righthand column. Check it out there. Or here.